My current work in progress:

1. Strandwanderer, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Wollmeise Merino "Pure" in the "Zenzi" colorway on a 3.25 mm (U.S. size 3) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

The Knitbloggers Knitting Basket Project

You guys are familiar with Heifer International, right? You can “purchase’ animals or a share of an animal to go to impoverished families around the world, to help them feed themselves and or earn income.

One of the gifts you can purchase is a “Knitting Basket“; here’s what Heifer International says about the Knitting Basket:

Your gift of a Knitting Basket will include two llamas and two sheep (one
male and one female of each) four animals famous for their warm, income-producing wool.

From shearing to spinning, weaving and finally selling woolen goods at market,
your gift of a Knitting Basket will help four struggling families earn extra
income to break free from the grip of poverty and hopelessness.

Over time, as your gift multiplies and more animals are passed on to help others
in need, entire communities will be warmed by the precious wool of your Knitting
Basket.

Deb Marvin (Yentala), and I are have joined forces for a holiday season charity project. On behalf of the Knitblogging Community, we would like to be able to donate Knitting Baskets to families in need.

Last year, generous knitters from around the world donated $4380.00 to the project.

With your donations Heifer International was able to purchase 8 KNITTING BASKET GIFTS containing 32 animals (16 sheep and 16 llamas) to donate to needy families.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could raise enough to purchase 10 baskets this year?

Deb has set up a Paypal account to receive donations for the Knitting Basket. By clicking on the button below, or in my sidebar, you can donate to this cause. It doesn’t have to be a large donation — many people donating just a few dollars will quickly add up.

If you have room in your heart and in your wallet, please consider contributing to this worthy cause!

To donate to the Knitbloggers Knitting Basket Project, click on the button below.




And thanks a million from Deb and from me!

If Lucy weren’t fast asleep, she’d thank you too!

lucy112304 The Knitbloggers Knitting Basket Project

We’ll return to our regularly scheduled knitting blog tomorrow!

Lazy Monday

lucy112204 Lazy Monday

No doubt this is what Lucy does every Monday. Tough life.

Me? I took full advantage of my day off. Took Xena (my car) for oil change and safety inspection, did some cleaning up at home, went out Christmas shopping and to lunch with my dad, then to the grocery store.

Then back home to spin a bit.

katarina112204 Lazy Monday

A close-up of what I done spun:

yarn112204 Lazy Monday

This is a 50/50 blend of Black Welsh Mountain wool and alpaca. I loves me a good Black Welsh Mountain wool!

I got my two sampler packs of natural colored wools and British/NZ breed wools in the mail today from Spirit-Trail — Thanks for the great service, Jen!

fiber112204 Lazy Monday

I want to spin enough to make a shawl (same type as the one I’m knitting now) and knit it in stripes of the natural color wools.

Speaking of the shawl I’m knitting now, it’s nearing completion. Remeber the silk roving from yesterday? It’s all spun and plied into yarn, and I’m knitting it held together with mohair on to my shawl. A close-up:

shawl112204 Lazy Monday

I love these colors!

Embarrassing Photo From the Knitter’s Review Retreat

wendysheepgravesmount2004 Lazy Monday

Yes, tis I. With Maggie the Sheep.

Is the sun over the yardarm? I think it’s margarita time.

Katarina

Oh my. She is lovely.

We unpacked her Friday night and Lucy investigated. (The Lazy Kate did not come with Katarina, but just happened to be there.)

katarina112104 Katarina

It took us less than an hour to assemble her — really no problems, although the instructions were a bit vague here and there. But we got her together, and Lucy introduced herself.

katarina112104a Katarina

I didn’t actually get a chance to try her out until this afternoon. I watched the video that came with her, which enlightened me as to threading the leader and adjusting the tension. Before long, we were humming along.

I had the tension a little wacky at first, but managed to produce this from my “practice” wool:

yarn112104 Katarina

As you can see, I figured out how to ply my singles.

I guess I must have known how to spin in a previous life. It seems very natural to me, and a lot of fun! Here are some singles I just spun from some more practice wool:

yarn112104a Katarina

I think Katarina and I are going to have years of fun together!

How Do You Spin From a Silk Cap?

Someone asked me that question last week, though I can’t remember who.

Each cap is made up of a number of layers. I believe each layer is a silkworm cocoon, which is stretched over a bell-shaped form.

You take the cap and peel off a layer which is one cocoon. I found it easiest to peel the layer from the middle of the cap and gently pull it out. Poke a hole in the middle of the layer and stretch it out into a large circle. It will reach a point where you can pull it apart to make a long rope of silk. You can then draft the silk into roving that is ready to spin.

Here is a layer next to one that I’ve drafted. Cool, huh?

silkcap112104 Katarina

How I Really Learned to Spin

This is one of the photos L-B took at the Knitters Review Retreat.

wendyspindrinkgravesmount2004 Katarina

I am spinning with my drop spindle, while leaning over to drink from my margarita. A learning method I highly recommend.

Well, Alrighty Then

The wheel I ordered is a Kromski Minstrel, purchased from Copper Moose. According to the UPS tracking info, she will be here tomorrow (gasp). Not bad — purchased on a Wednesday and she arrives on a Friday? And I was expecting it to take a week or more.

I’m going to name her Katarina. I hope she’ll like living in my home. I hope we manage to assemble her, though I understand that’s fairly easy. Fairly. I found the assembly instructions online and read through them.

Katarina was last spotted at 3:44 pm today, heading north from Richmond. I love UPS tracking!

Secret Pal 3 Goodies!

I got a package from my wonderful Secret Pal 3. Lookie here!

sp3 111804 Well, Alrighty Then

A bag of delicious nougats (and don’t ask me how I know they’re delicious — hee hee!), an envelope of home grown verbena for tea (and I love herbal teas!) and some beautiful beautiful Anny Blatt Angora in a gorgeous sea green shade.

Thank you, SP3!!

And that’s not all!

Now lookie here!

fiber111804 Well, Alrighty Then

A box o’ fibery goodness from the wonderful Andrea J! These are samples of all sorts of wonderful stuff from her and and her friends Janet B., Janet W., and Judi in her SpinandEat group.

And she included this:

spindle111804 Well, Alrighty Then

A wee tiny spindle. Isn’t it precious? How wee tiny is it?

spindle111804a Well, Alrighty Then

For purposes of scale.

The whorl is aventurine. Andrea sent it with the fiber-in-process on it, and of course I picked it up and attempted to spin a bit more. To my very great surprise, I was able to make some equivalent laceweight yarn with it!

Thank you Andrea! What a lovely and generous surprise!

The Shawl, She Grows

shawl111804 Well, Alrighty Then

And even though the rows are getting longer and longer, I’m still loving working on it.

The silk I’m spinning matches it nicely.

shawl111804a Well, Alrighty Then

The Mohair Pictured in Yesterday’s Blog Entry

anya111804 Well, Alrighty Then

Well I just had to spin up a sample of it, didn’t I? Wowie wow wow! I love it!

Hey Jen!

guanaco111804 Well, Alrighty Then

The Guanaco arrived! The Guanaco arrived! And all I can do is gasp and drool helplessly.

This is my last post of the week. I’ll be back Sunday night. I am finding this posting in the evening much easier. Why did I not think of that before? I am thinking of my blog as less of an arduous task and more of a fun thing again. Which is a good thing.

What else is a good thing? I’m taking all of next week off from work. Wheeeeee!

Lucy Sez

lucy111804 Well, Alrighty Then

Keep your tail groomed!

Another Spinning Question

If you find yourself, at 4:30 in the morning, dressed and ready to go to work, sitting on the side of the bed watching the early early early (early) news and spinning silk —

Does that make you hopelessly addicted to spinning?

Just curious. That’s what I was doing at 4:30 this morning.

So . . . I got nothing. Well, not exactly nothing, but not much, either. I’ve had a couple of long days at work so there hasn’t been a whole lotta anything else going on.

Here’s the silk in process of being spun.

anya111704 Another Spinning Question

You might notice that I’m using Anya to spin the silk, not Sonia. Why? Sonia is in the middle of spinning the rest of my chocolate alpaca.

sonia111704 Another Spinning Question

And here’s the shawl I’m working on.

shawl111704 Another Spinning Question

A bit more progress there. It gets slower and slower as you progress, because the rows get longer and longer. But the yarn is so pretty and feels so wonderful, it’s a pleasure to knit.

And in an effort to distract you from the pathetic lack of content here — something I got in the mail from Master Enabler, L-B:

mohair111704 Another Spinning Question

Oooh! Look! Pretty mohair! Look! (Waving it about as a distraction technique)

Spongebob Movie

Are we going to see it? I’m thinking we’ll wait til it comes out on video.

Lucy

Is still entranced with her handspun mouse.

lucy111704 Another Spinning Question

One more thing . . .

In the wagering on “when will Wendy buy a spinning wheel?” who had November 17?